Here we go again as I tackle some of the emails that land in our inbox. As usual, my intent is to bring you a variety of music that you possibly never heard of and that may enjoy; hopefully you do. It’s nearing the end of the year so there may be several of these posts as we clean up our files and prepare for an exciting 2014…I am assuming it will be exciting anyway. As you may have noticed I am keeping the commentary to a minimum to let the videos or music files to the screaming. Up first, a video with zombies. Can’t really go wrong with zombies. Enjoy!
The good thing about Shrapnel Storm is that they concoct a groovy death metal brew of brutality, but the unfortunate thing is there are only two songs on this way-too-short promo. Despite this unfortunate conundrum, the two songs donning the We Come In Peace… is packed with enough energy between the two songs that a spot on the radar of bands to watch for is now cemented. The Finnish death metal band, at the moment, is giving us a taste of what is to come. Recording for a full-length album will commence in April 2014 with a release date yet to be set. For now, this is what they have to offer and I, for one, look forward to the full-length album in 2014.
Glorior Belli is a French band that recently released their album Gators Rumble, which might explain the theme for this video for Backwoods Bayou. It’s a short video, but has that avant-garde artsy appeal that makes it interesting even though there are no words in the song or that the alligator eats anyone. If you haven’t checked out the Oct/Nov release of Gators Rumble, you should – it’s pretty damn good. Enjoy the Song of the Week.
For an added bonus I will add this second video clip so that you can experience the full extent of what this band has to offer besides alligator videos.
Kill Devil Hill hit the scene in 2011 and already released their second album, Revolution Rise. I have to give the guys props for two reasons; first, they appear to be a hard-working band having released two albums in two years. Second, they are still the same four dudes playing music they want to play which is a style that doesn’t rely on overly aggressive tempos. Not that there is anything wrong with aggression, it’s nice to take a break and Kill Devil Hill is perfect for that. Metal needs bands like Kill Devil Hill to contrast aggression and they do a fine job. They are musicians from eclectic backgrounds, but together they create heavy metal music that is far-removed from an in-your-face style laced with grit and angst. Revolution Rise is a strong sophomore effort from the quartet and is a nice addition among my collection of (mostly) brutal music.
#4 The songwriting and lyrics
The biggest part of my musical heart belongs to progressive metal, mainly because I like the complex and diverse nature of the music, the excellent songwriting, carefully thought out lyrics and lengthy tracks. The best thing is when bands compose concept albums that are one long, consecutive song, like TesseracT’s ‘Concealing Fate’ and Uneven Structure’s ‘Februus’. Another example of good songwriting and lyrics:
Gojira – Pain Is A Master
#3 Emotional Vocals
A vocalist with a powerful and versatile voice is very often present in the music I like the most. I’ve realized it’s a very important component; instrumental music doesn’t interest me much at all. I love a sincere, emotional voice with a good range that can perform many different styles like Daniel Tompkins (Skyharbor), Ilkka Viitasalo (Benea Reach), ICS Vortex (Borknagar) Daniel de Jongh (Textures)
Skyharbor – Catharsis
I am a little late to the Insomnium game. My first taste was during the release of One For Sorrow and as a result of that album, they cemented themselves as a band of interest in my life. I then went back one album and enjoyed that too. I still have others on my list of albums to buy and will get to them soon I hope. I also had a cool opportunity to meet them and see them live a couple of years ago. Needless to say, when a new EP presented itself to me (or the world I should say), two things went through my mind. First, where the hell did this come from and second, why just an EP? I can’t say I am complaining, but I am a little bit because I was looking forward to a full-length release. However, if there is one thing I learned in my life is patience and I am sure the full-length studio album will follow. Based on my minimal research, there will be an album in 2014. So, we wait, but for now we can enjoy four new tracks; three of which are instrumental.
Album Review: Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 2
It’s time for the second edition of The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Vol 2; Five Finger Death Punch’s second album of 2013. As you may have read here, my impression of Vol 1 wasn’t exactly that stellar, but I found some redeeming qualities in some of the songs. I like their groove and level of angst they put into their riffing, but find myself lost on their lyrical content. It’s strange because usually lyrics are the least important thing to me, but I guess when they are so childish they throw me off preventing me from focusing on everything else I love about metal. Let’s face it, I am far from being a teenager and to me this is the audience they are appealing to. I am just not that angst-ridden anymore. I need more substance in my songs for those situations where lyrical content somehow strikes me. Just like they articulate in track #2, Weight Beneath My Sin…
…It’s the same old fucking story, the same old fucking lies, the same old fucking ending…
Posted by ChristopherMammal
I call these albums In-Betweeners because to me they are not strictly prog, metal or hard rock, they draw from all of those and other genres. Genre labels continue to become blurred. Hurrah for that!
#20: Andromeda (Sweden), prog metal
Album: Manifest Tyranny
Song: Lies ‘R’ Us
Andromeda released five albums between 2001 and 2011. Over the span of a decade their music has taken on an increasingly neo-progressive rock feel. This hasn’t jarred in any way because they’ve been consistently good. Besides, neo-prog and prog metal are often very compatible bedmates. Both genres include cross-over elements, drawing from various other styles. This is why prog metal doesn’t appeal to some followers of harder metal, and neo-prog sometimes alienates the symphonic prog purists.
#19: Jolly (USA), neo-progressive rock
Album: The Audio Guide To Happiness
Song: Ends Where It Starts
This was Jolly’s second album. To me it’s as much heavy prog as neo-prog. Their new album, The Audio Guide To Happiness 2, has perhaps even a heavier flavour and has won over a fair number of prog metal fans. The band has named diverse influences, from Depeche Mode to Tool. Whatever may have inspired them, Jolly have built a solid, distinctive sound of their own.
#18: Ancestors (USA), post metal
Album: In Dreams and Time
Post metal is one of the hybrid genres you’ll find listed on both metal and prog sites, along with post rock and progressive metal. One description of both post rock and post metal is that they dispense with traditional riffs and solos, creating layers of sound instead. Both styles are often instrumental. Ancestors enrich their brand of post metal with vocals and by incorporating elements of doom, stoner and drone metal as well as psychedelic prog rock.
#17: Magic Pie (Norway), symphonic progressive rock
Album: The Suffering Joy
Song: Slightly Mad
Magic Pie may be generally considered a symphonic prog band, but they temper their sound by blending it with hard rock. The resulting music is orchestral and does use a lot of keyboard. However, it also features some powerful guitar work. It is somewhat surreal and extremely melodious… I think Devin Townsend would approve. One of the great strengths of Magic Pie is that their lead singer, Eirick Hanssen, is one of the best vocalists in the business.
#16: Unitopia (Australia), crossover prog
Song: Not Human Anymore
The “crossover” part refers to the retro aspect of Unitopia’s music. The band is influenced by the great bands of the 1970s classic prog era. At the same time, they lubricate their very distinctive sound with healthy doses of modern rock that borders very closely on prog metal. The overall label I would attach to their music is “epic”. Even power metal fans should try this band.
This was indeed a difficult, but interesting challenge. Exactly what I like and look for in music, and mainly in metal, is something I’ve never thought about to a great extent before. And I wouldn’t say it’s important to know either, it’s just a way to get to know myself better (and a good excuse for making another list). It goes a bit deeper and is more specific than just saying “I like <insert genre here>”. These components I’m describing apply to any style of music I listen to.
#6 Dark, melancholic and flowing atmosphere
Maybe I’m a person that is too serious and sorrowful on the inside? I’m always drawn to music with a dark and melancholic undertone and sincere, solemn vocals. Even if some music I like might sound light and uplifting, the lyrics usually have a very serious or sad meaning (the song Reaching Home by Textures being the perfect example). I prefer this dark atmosphere served with the wonderful flow that can often be found in post rock/metal and atmospheric black metal. This is why I love bands like Alcest, ISIS, Ghost Brigade, Swallow the Sun and Ne Obliviscaris.
Yay, it’s Friday! To prevent an overload of lovely progressive music here on the blog I decided to pick a song that our non-proggy readers could enjoy too. “Immortality Made Flesh” is a fast-paced and fun technical melodic thrash tune, with an abundance of catchy riffs and insane guitars. It’s a single from their upcoming album (I’m looking forward to it!) that will be released in February next year. A perfect energy boost for the beginning of the weekend. Enjoy and have a nice one!